Wednesday, 30 November 2016


Well the question has been answered.  At least some of my pupae are definitely not in diapause: they have begun emerging, and they are wasting no time in finding a mate!  Within hours of emergence, these two have paired.  They will live only a week or so as a moth, so they have to be quick.  


You can tell the difference between the males and females fairly easily, especially when you have examples of both to compare.  The female’s body is much larger than the males, as you can see here.   


She is already full of eggs and once mated, she will start laying very soon after.   The faces of moths are much prettier than that of butterflies, and here is another way to tell male and female apart  - take a look at their antennae.   The female has long, feathered antennae.

But the male has wider and even more feathered antennae.

He uses these to smell -  there are a huge number of olfactory receptors in their antennae and this enables them to detect the pheromones emitted by a female from a great distance and to pinpoint her location very accurately.  That’s not really a problem for my moths ...


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